The only problem with breakfast pastries is that they tend to take a while to prepare, so “breakfast” will often turn into “brunch” or later if you don’t start your prep well in advance. This is why pancakes and muffins tend to be the fall backs of the home cook, rather than croissants and danishes. It is also why I love having an easy, non-yeast recipe for pastry that is versatile and delicious. With only a few minutes in the morning, you can easily turn out something that looks better than what you might find at the bakery. And you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas to make it.
I originally came across a version of this recipe in Super Food Ideas, which is also where I found the inspiration for the pumpkin curry I made just a short while ago. The pastry is made by cutting butter into a flour mixture, in much the same way you would do with a pie crust, although the texture comes out to be much more like puff pastry than crust. This is due to the fact that there is leavening – baking powder – in the dough, which helps it to maintain a light and fluffy texture without any of the time-consuming layering required for puff pastry. It isn’t sweet, so it could be used in savory rolls as well as these sweet, breakfast scrolls.
The filling is simply Nutella and miniature chocolate chips, although you can add in some chopped up hazelnuts if you are looking to add some crunch and enhance the nuttiness of the Nutella. It is spread over the pastry before it is rolled up. As long as you work quickly, you shouldn’t have any problem with the pastry becoming too soft to handle easily. If it does become too soft or sticky, simply stick it into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before continuing to work.
When finished, the pastry is light, crisp and flaky, with a melt-in-your-mouth quality that is just heavenly. In fact, it’s hard to believe that it took only 5 minutes to throw together! It goes well with the filling, as the crisp texture of the pastry and the slightly savory butter flavor cut the rich taste of the Nutella, resulting in a pastry that is not only incredibly indulgent, but very well balanced.
Serve the scrolls with coffee or hot chocolate, and keep a few extra on reserve in case anyone wants seconds!
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups milk, cold
1/2 cup Nutella spread
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in butter using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. The largest should be about the size of a large pea. Alternatively, you can combine these ingredients in a food processor and pulse to achieve crumbs, then transfer to a large bowl.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in cold milk, gradually stirring with a butter knife or a fork until a soft dough forms.
Sprinkle dough with flour and turn out onto a lightly-floured surface. Knead lightly until smooth, then roll out to a 12×14 inch rectangle. If dough gets too soft or sticky, even with the extra flour, put in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Spread Nutella over dough, leaving a 2cm border along the longer edges, but going all the way to the end of the short edges of the rectangle. Sprinkle chocolate chips and hazelnuts, if using, evenly over Nutella.
Starting with a long end, roll up dough in a jelly-roll fashion. Using a sharp, serrated knife to gently cut the roll into 12 even slices. Use a damp paper towel in between slices to keep knife clean and press gently to avoid squishing the roll. Lay scrolls flat on prepared baking sheet, allowing about 1 inch between each.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until scroll are light gold. Stand for 5 minutes on tray before gently pulling apart. Serve warm.